YOU could forgive someone who has spent an incredible 50 years at the top for being a little jaded about about playing live.

But Lulu is raring to go ahead of a series of special 'evening with' dates which will see her singing some of her favourite songs and sharing a few stories along the way.

"It's totally what I want to do right now," said the Scottish singer, who first came to prominence with the single Shout and also through appearing with Sidney Poitier in the movie To Sir With Love when she was just a teenager.

Last year Lulu went on the road after a decade away from touring.

"I'd done the odd show here and there singing with Jools Holland and his band and one or two others, but really I didn't tour as a solo artist for 10 years, I'd just got jaded," she said.

"But last year was such a joy. We were only halfway through the tour when we were talking about doing another one."

As well as heading back out on to the road, Lulu also released the album Making Life Rhyme, comprised entirely of songs she had written.

"I'd never written anything before and now I wonder why I didn't. I enjoyed the whole process. I really do feel as though I'm entering a new phase of my career."

For the forthcoming tour which visits both Preston's Charter Theatre and Manchester Academy, Lulu will be talking about her career to date.

"Oh, there is so much to talk about," she said. "Let's be honest, I have lived a life.

"I think that the attraction for long time fans is that it's a chance for them to reminisce a little and gives me the chance to tell them things they may not have heard before.

"But I've also found that younger people are curious and don't really know what I have done over the years and are intrigued by that."

Those younger fans will discover that Lulu has done pretty much everything from having top 10 singles, appearing in London's West End, being chosen to sing a Bond theme with The Man With The Golden Gun and even winning the Eurovision Song Contest with the song Boom Bang-a-Bang.

In the Nineties she teamed up with Take That for the single Relight My Fire which topped the charts.

Every night on the tour, Lulu will be joined by members of the Military Wives Choir to sing the song Cry which she has released as a charity single to help those suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

"I wrote it about a relationship in which the man in question bottled everything in," she said. "I wanted to try and show that it is OK to let things out and to show your vulnerable side.

"As I was writing it I realised that I could have been writing about myself as I'd always been so controlling with my emotions."

Lulu was eventually diagnosed as suffering from PTSD, the result of her childhood growing up in a home where rows between her parents were commonplace.

"When you mention PTSD people just think it's something that soldiers get," she said. "I thought that too but it is something which can affect anyone.

"Once I was told that I had it, it was almost as though a cloud was lifted. I had always thought that I was different and felt that everything was down to me.

"I love my parents but there were some black times.

"I'm learning now that it can be quite fun to be vulnerable some times, that you don't have to be strong and in control all the time. Ignorance is not bliss really.

"If you understand something you suddenly realise that you are not on your own."

"I'm delighted that there are so many of the Military Wives Choirs around the country that we can get members on stage every single night of the tour. If it helps highlight the problem and gets people to talk about their feelings more then I feel I have made a small contribution to helping others."

But above all Lulu is relishing the chance to go back out on the road with her band.

"They are great musicians and we've got some great songs to perform," she said. "It's going to be real and it's certainly going to be fun."

An Evening with Lulu, Manchester Academy, Saturday, March 26 and Charter Theatre, Preston, Friday, April 8.